Atarashi Shakai no Rekishi

Things have been quiet here for a while on the pandablog, and it’s not just because of the mangled right paw. Besides fending off the ever encroaching student hoardes (it’s that time of year where the new students start flooding the halls of the schools in terrifying numbers), I’ve actually been up to something that might be classified as quasi-productive.

prof panda

Professor Panda prepares to teach today’s history lesson…

As many of you may be aware, the big story in the news these days is the violent anti-Japan protests and rioting that’s breaking out all over China. It’s an important news event, for sure, and it seems everybody and their mother (well, not literally) is chiming in with their own two cents on the issue.

For those of you not aware, the protest ostensibly center around the latest junior high school history textbooks sanctioned by the Monbukagakusho (Ministry of Culture and Education) which feature the latest official take on Japan’s actions during World War II, particularly in Manchuria. Protesters accuse Japan of sleight-of-word, revising things like the Nanking Massacre into an “incident”, and other roundabout denials of culpability in countless other warcrimes, the victims of which were more often than not either Chinese or Korean.


the book at the center of the controversy…

I won’t bore you with my opinions on the subject – suffice it to say that while there is some truth to the textbook issue, it pales in comparison to what’s really going on – global powerplays, high level UN politics, socio-economic and military stratagems and so forth.

What I will do is get it straight from the horses mouth, as it were. We all hear about what is supposedly in the textbooks – but what do they actually contain? They say that if you ever want to know about something, you should look it up for yourself, and so I went down to the local bookstore the other day and picked up a copy of (one of) the textbooks in question: “Atarashii Shakai Rekishi” (“(the) New Social History“) in order to find out what it had to say about China, Manchuria and Japanese actions during the second World War.

they spinnas brotha, they spinnas

Completely and shamelessly unrelated to the current post.
Seen on a local street: Rims utterly innappropriate for the tiny 4 cylinder banger they’re attached to.
How quintessentially Japanese.

I’ll try and get around to translating it this weekend and post the results in the next post. No pontificating or uninformed prosetylizing from this lazy panda – just read it for yourself and make up your own mind. Sort of like a public service announcement, right? Only without all the annoying b-list actors.

Now listening to: 2Pac feat. 50 Cent & G-Unit – “Loyal to the Game”

8 Reactions

  1. MI~shuko me~

    Wow, you can translate a text book? I can barely translate a menu!
    Ha! Speaking of which I’m off to Japanese class now, better study harder I guess….
    P.S. Love the Professor Panda :D

  2. jen

    heya panda :) nothing much planned for golden week…i SUPPOSE i can go and fight the crowds in aichi…not really in favor of it…my parents are here for 5 weeks….they’ll leave AFTER golden week…
    as for the translations for the text…i am very interested in it… :D looking forward to reading it…

  3. jane_is_ace

    Three words ‘Adventure World, Shirahama’. They have 5 Pandas there in ‘Panda Town’, and about 6 shops full to the brim with pands goods…about 3 hours by train from Osaka.

  4. Kittah

    and while that post should make me think about more important things, ive instead been sitting here wondering how long it took you to get the panda to hold the pen, and i finally decided he must be lying down with his paw placed infront of the pen just so to create the illusion of pen holding.. its all trickery. right?

  5. ang

    we used to live in japan, hubby for 7.5 years, me for 5. we love it there. used to live in akebonobashi. where do you live? wish we were there but had to come to london for rehab…


    so…if i receive a robot panda…what can i send to your side of the world? i’ve been on the look-out for pandas, but is there anything else i can add to a care package? :)